SOUND THE TRUMPET
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced the US House of Representatives will file impeachment charges against Donald Trump — following preliminary hearings into his alleged Ukraine interference scandal — for “abusing his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security”.
Pelosi has called on inquiry chairs to proceed with articles of impeachment, with House Democrats now keen to hold a vote before the end of the year, making the trial in the Senate possible as early as January 2020, according to the BBC and The Guardian’s live-blog.
Trump, unsurprisingly, has already responded on Twitter by accusing Democrats of attempting to impeach him over “nothing”, calling for a quick process to allow for a “fair trial in the Senate”.
NOTHING SUPER ABOUT IT
Senior bureaucrats have spoken out against Scott Morrison‘s department amalgamations, which the PM claims will improve efficiency but appear deeply ideology. For example, the addition of environment to agriculture; energy to industry; education to employment; and communication to transport (without ‘arts’, which will be dropped).
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The ABC reports that CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly rejected the idea that “super departments” foster efficiency, citing explicitly negative staff experiences and service delivery at the Department of Home Affairs.
Meanwhile, The Australian ($) reports that sacked Department of Communications and Arts head Mike Mrdak yesterday sent a memo explaining he had less than a day’s notice and no opportunity to provide advice, while another veteran, former Department of Immigration and Agriculture head Andrew Metcalfe, will be re-hired ($) after being dumped by Tony Abbott.
BUSHFIRES RAGE ACROSS NSW
Homes across NSW have been evacuated, as seven fires simultaneously hit the highest “emergency warning” classification, and Sydney continues to see hazardous levels of air quality as a bushfire crisis exacerbated by global heating rages across the state.
The ABC and Sydney Morning Herald report that the NSW Rural Fire Service has battled a number of fires overnight — as of 1am, the Gospers Mountain, Little L Complex and Three Mile fires remain at emergency warning level. Fires have also been recorded across Queensland and Western Australia, while a spike in temperature, ring of bushfires and shifting wind conditions mean Sydney is unlikely to escape its period of poor air quality — already the longest ever recorded in NSW — until early next week.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
A good chat about strong future global demand for coal with Matthew Canavan and World Coal Association Chief Executive Michelle Manook.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The government’s failure to provide appropriate support for its own intelligence officers, and its insistence on evading scrutiny over its handling of intelligence matters, is endangering national security, as well as harming the men and women who serve our country in secret, dangerous work.”
“Prior to the passing of the medivac amendments in January this year, the path for sick refugees and asylum seekers (most of the offshore detainees have been granted refugee status) lay through the Federal Court of Australia. Border Force, and its medical contractor International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), was not an enthusiastic provider of medical evacuation, to say the least.”
“‘Where’s my Roy Cohn?’ The comment, made by Donald Trump during the investigation into Russian electoral interference, didn’t get much attention in January 2018. The president was calling on his aides to toughen up, to take a lesson from his former lawyer.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Curbing emissions from the LNG industry ($) — Jennifer Hewett (Australian Financial Review): “Although CCS technology still looks unlikely to be adapted at any scale to existing coal-fired power generation because of the cost and increasing opposition to coal, its potential use in the LNG industry offers some advantages. As part of the production process, for example, carbon dioxide already has to separated out from the gas, meaning the cost of applying CCS technology is also less.”
Deal or no deal, medevac is democracy in the dark — Waleed Aly (Sydney Morning Herald): “Of course, the easiest responses are politically determined. Labor and the Greens are bound to scream that this is a travesty: a betrayal of open government but also of the most basic rights of asylum seekers to necessary medical treatment. And they may or may not be right depending on the precise content of the Lambie-government deal. You know, the one that isn’t meant to exist.”
Bring on the good times of a vibrant, Sydney night life ($) — Dominic Perrottet (Daily Telegraph): “‘What is Sydney’s heart, its soul?’ That’s the question Jeff Kennett, the combative former Victorian Premier, asked in The Daily Telegraph just a few weeks back. It’s a good question, but when it’s a Victorian asking, it’s obviously difficult not to get defensive about our city.”
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The Melbourne Energy Institute will host a forum event with chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel, head of the Grattan Institute’s energy program Tony Wood and clean fuels expert Professor Paul Webley.
Filipino sociologist and former MP Walden Bello will present “Elections, Authoritarianism, and Charismatic Politics: Lessons of the 2019 Elections in Thailand, the Philippines, and India” at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation.
ACT Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety Suzanne Orr and Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones will present at a WorkSafe ACT construction breakfast.
ABC Radio Brisbane will host a variety concert to raise funds for the Queensland Rural Fire Service, which will feature Graeme Connors, Troy Cassar-Daley and more.